Los Angeles, California
LAX (Los Angeles Airport)
The Encounter Restaurant & Bar
If you've flown in or out of LAX Airport, you've no doubt seen the giant UFO-like structure located directly opposite the airport terminal. It's home to The Encounter Restaurant & Bar - an intergalactic-themed restaurant atop the landmark Theme Building. It's a FUN place to dine, especially if you're into UFOs, aliens and anything sci-fi!
From the minute you step inside The Encounter Restaurant's tiny ground floor elevator (with it's cosmic Twilight Zone-sounding music) you feel as if you're in a space-ship.
The elevator whisks you up to the spacious circular intergalactic-themed dining room with its huge curved-shaped windows overlooking the airport. UFO lava lamps and futuristic bar stools are dotted throughout the bar area. Even the restrooms are UFO-themed!
The Encounter features California cuisine - it's very good and reasonably-priced. They offer diners an extensive menu selection, including everything from salads, sandwiches, burgers and pastas, to steaks, chicken, duck and fresh seafood,
If you like burgers, don't pass up their delicious Char Broiled Midwestern Angus Burger (a half pound of Angus beef patty served on a sesame seed bun with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, Walla Walla onions and a choice of cheese) - the Point Reyes creamy bleu cheese topping was literally "out of this world!" Burgers come with a choice of tossed greens, Parmesan-cheese garlic fries (they're to die-for!) or kettle chips.
For a lighter touch, we highly recommend the Tropical Chicken Salad (fresh spring mix of greens, beets, Belgian endive, mango, golden pineapple and a grilled breast of chicken served with Oriental dressing) - it's a perfect complement to the burger and fries :)
Homemade Desserts include Warm Rustic Apple Tart, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Lovin' Spoon Cake, New York Cheesecake, Sorbet, Sherbet and Gelatos - YUM!
The Encounter is famous for its Signature Martinis. They also offer an impressive wine list featuring a variety of California and international wines.
The Encounter Restaurant & Bar makes a FUN space-age theme setting for a private party or special corporate event. It's been visited by more celebrities than we can count, including: Alec Baldwin, Halle Berry, Nicolas Cage, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Hanks, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dustin Hoffman, Billy Joel, Jay Leno, Sharon Stone, Queen Latifah, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Quentin Tarrantino… just to name a few!
It's also a great location for a business meeting at the airport - attendees can fly into LAX and walk to the restaurant and local attendees can drive in and valet park without having to go into the airport terminals.
Outdoor Observation Deck
The outdoor Observation Deck is open to the public on Sat & Sun from 8am-5pm. There is no admission fee. It's a great place to take pictures.
Lunch 11am-4pm daily;
Dinner: Mon-Wed 4-9pm, Thurs-Sun 4-9:30pm
Reservations are recommended, especially during peak dining times. The Encounter makes a nice change from the usual run-of-the-mill airport restaurants.
Directions & Parking
If you are in the airport, walk to Terminal 2 or 6. The restaurant is between these two terminals - it's a short 10-minute walk outside.
To get there, look for the walkway at the airport lower level (Arrivals) between Terminal 2 and 6, then proceed until you see the Encounter signage. Or just ask any of the airport staff for directions - during our last visit, they were more than happy to help us! However, a few people did not know how to find the restaurant. Just keep asking if you get lost.
Note: You do not have to pass through any airport security to dine at The Encounter Restaurant.
If you are driving to the restaurant from outside the airport, they have Valet Parking available.
The Encounter Restaurant
201 World Way
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Google Map to the Restaurant